A Political Biography of Sarah Fielding  book cover
1st Edition

A Political Biography of Sarah Fielding

ISBN 9780367875930
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

A Political Biography of Sarah Fielding provides the most complete discussion of Fielding’s works and career currently available. Tracing the development of Fielding’s artistic and instructive agendas from her earliest publications forward, Johnson presents a compelling portrait of a deeply read author who sought to claim a place within literary culture for women’s experiences. As a practical didacticist, Fielding sought to teach her readers to live happier, more fulfilling lives by appropriating and at times resisting the texts that defined their culture. While Fielding often retreats from the overtly political concerns that captured the attention of her contemporaries, her works are daring forays into the public sphere that both challenge and reinforce the foundations of British society. Giving voice to those who have been marginalized, Fielding’s creative productions are at once conservative and radical, revealing her ambiguous appreciation for tradition, her fears of modernity, and her abiding commitment to women who must live within forever imperfect worlds.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. The Making of a Novelist

Chapter 2. Her Own Story: The Adventures of David Simple

Chapter 3. Familiar Letters between the Principal Characters of David Simple

Chapter 4. The Governess, A New Experiment in Fiction

Chapter 5. Forays into Literary Criticism

Chapter 6. David Simple, Volume the Last

Chapter 7. Collaboration and Innovation, The Cry

Chapter 8. The Lives of Cleopatra and Octavia

Chapter 9. The History of the Countess of Dellwyn


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Christopher D. Johnson is professor of English and Director of the McNair Institute at Francis Marion University. His recent publications include a festschrift in honor of Jerry C. Beasley (2011) and essays on Henry and Sarah Fielding, Philip Doddridge, Oliver Goldsmith, and John Dryden.